Chapter 16 : phone calls and brotherly bodygaurds
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Peter came eagerly to the phone, and I blushed as I heard him trip over objects at his house. I blushed as I heard the commotion, and gulped down anxiety when I heard his wheezing voice yell: “Okay Mum! I’ve got it!”
With a hesitant heavy click, Mrs. Pettigrew hung up the phone.
“Making drunk phone calls now, Hopey? Tsk,tsk.” Sirius was smirking behind me. I glared at him and cleared my throat.
“Hello, Peter?” I questioned. I could hear him breathing over the phone line. “Peter!” I snapped quickly. This was no time for awkward teenage affections – I should know, I was the one with Sirius Black sitting on my bed.
“Hey Hope…” Peter lulled in what I assumed was an attempt to sound casual and cool. “How’ve your holidays been?”
“Oh, just delightful.” I began, sarcastically. “I’ve been going back and forth between having nervous breakdowns and bawling my eyes out every day. At least I’ve gotten pretty skinny though, since I’ve been too heartbroken to eat any of the fabulous food my grandmother’s home cooking. You remember my grandmother’s cooking right? From when you stayed with us during the summer?”
Peter remained silent on the other end of the line, but I assumed that his reaction mirrored Sirius’s, who on my bed gaped at me with his mouth open.
“What’s your problem, Sirius?” I said, snippily. “Never had to see the after effects of one of your dumped playthings?”
“Oh! Is Padfoot there, then?” Peter asked, warmth in his tone. He paused. “Wait, what’s Padfoot doing there?” It seemed that he remembered the last time Sirius and I were together in a room – the Great Hall incident. Even Peter could pick up on the fact that it was an uncomfortable experience.
“Tabitha.” I responded, my voice monotone.
“Padfoot’s doing Tabitha? At your house? On holidays?” He failed at hiding the surprise in his voice. I frowned, and my eyebrows creased together towards the middle of my forehead. I rubbed my temples. Is it my destiny to be surrounded by frustrating boys for the rest of my life? I hope to god not.
“No, he’s not doing her, but I suppose he probably is – I mean the boy has no morals.” I continued. I heard Sirius grumble unhappily from beside me. “Anyways, I was just wondering if you could come, well, pick him up or something? I mean, it is my Christmas holiday and I don’t really want to see him – at all, ever again, you know. With you being right down the road, I feel like it’s perfectly convenient for you to take the bastard off my hands.”
There was a pause on the other end of the line. I guessed that this was somewhat of an awkward situation to put Peter in, but I felt little sympathy. It was awkward of James bloody Potter and Sirius bloody Black to put me in the situation they put me in in the Great Hall. With the Marauders being such close buddies, it was only natural that it would go full circle.
“I mean, you could just stick him in the fireplace and Floo him home, but I would really just like him out of my house.” I spoke again, egging Peter to respond. On the other end, Peter sighed.
“I’ll be over in a bit.” With a click, I hung up the phone and turned to Sirius. He was pouting, arms crossed on my bed. He looked like a little boy in his uncomfortable formal clothes.
“I’m sure you’ll be able to change once you get to Peter’s.” I grumbled. Sirius looked over at me. There was little space between us, and from the corner of my eyes I watched his chest rise and fall underneath a starched green button down and purple blue tie. “Way to match.” I took another stab at him to distract myself from his alluring features.
“Look whose talking.” He retorted and I looked down to see that the faded orange dress I had grabbed off the floor, paired with my sheer black tights, made me resemble a pumpkin. I frowned.
“I match. I wasn’t planning on wearing this anyways.” I sighed. “Maybe if you hadn’t walked in on me like some peeping Tom I would have been able to pick out something a little nicer.” Color rose to both our cheeks.
“Nothing I haven’t seen before.” He said. I gasped and my cheeks flushed, intimate memories flooding my brain, but looked up to see him smirking.
“Why you!” I went to smack him but he grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me into his chest. “What are you doing?” I hissed. He looked deeply into my eyes – his grey eyes willing me to understand how he felt. I gulped, trying to close myself off from him. I would hate for my purple and blue eyes to betray to Sirius how I was feeling.
“Hope…” He began and I drew in breath.
“Sirius, don’t…” I heard my voice say pathetically, and realized that I didn’t mean it. He could tell too, because before I could stop him our lips crashed together. It was like something out of one of my grandmother’s cheesy paperback romance novels. Passionate, fiery, full of angst, anger and attraction. He nibbled my bottom lip as I explored his mouth eagerly. His strong hands gripped the back of my neck, while mine were passively forced up against his heavy chest in a forgotten attempt to push him away. We were attacking each other; the emotions that we hadn’t been able to explain were being translated through pure carnal desires. I was snapped back to reality when I felt his hand graze my chest.
“SIRIUS BLACK!” I shouted. “What are you THINKING?” Absentmindedly, I touched my lips and caught my breath. Sirius noticed both of these actions and smirked.
“I’ll wait outside for Peter.” He stood. “Want to wait with me?”
“No.” I grumbled. “Shouldn’t you ask Tabitha?”
“I’d prefer you.”
The statement sounded so honest, so vulnerable that it startled me. Threw me off for a second. I had nothing to retort, no smart comment, no snide joke. My cheeks flushed pink and I mumbled when I caught my breath.
“You can’t say stuff like that, Sirius.” I shook my head. “I need to change.” My voice was a whisper. “You should go downstairs and tell everyone goodbye.” Sirius nodded and walked out, leaving me alone and confused.
Sitting down on the bed, my head fell into my hands. It felt heavy with the actions that had just occurred. James -- punching Sirius. Sirius – not cheating? That kiss! Fragmented thoughts flew through my mind. Moments went by, Jack jumped back up from underneath the bed and purred happily as he nuzzled against me.
After a few more minutes, I trudged downstairs. My thoughts were clouded, and I had forgotten to change. The fact had skipped my mind until my grandfather, laughing with my brothers, shouted “Hello Pumpkin!” across the living room.
Tabitha had Sirius huddled with her in a corner, her lips were turned downward in a frown. I assumed this meant that Sirius was explaining to her that he was leaving. I hoped to gods that he was giving her an excuse and not the real reason. The last thing I needed was Tabitha poisoning my mashed potatoes when I wasn’t looking.
Sirius glided over to my grandmother with an elegant grace that all of the Marauders seemed to possess. I watched him, eyebrows knitted with unwanted interest, from my seat next to my Uncle Trent.
“Thank you so much for inviting me into your home.” Sirius said, his tone polite and his aristocratic upbringing becoming more evident by the second. I frowned, my ears closed to the casual conversation my uncle was trying to start with me. “I’m so sorry, but something come up and I really must go.” He shook my grandfather’s hand and cast a weary glance at my brothers. “Thank you again.”
“Oh, no problem.” My grandmother gushed. She was obviously under Sirius’ charm. “Tabitha, do you want to walk Sirius out?” Tabitha grumbled from the corner.
“No, Gran, my shoes will get ruined by the snow. Plus it’s cold.” She frowned again at Sirius. “I’d rather stay inside.” Obviously, he was in trouble with her – I hoped again that he hadn’t told her the truth about his abrupt departure.
“Hmm… Well, Hopeless why don’t you wait outside with him?” Gran asked. I glared at Sirius, who held my eye contact with a knowing smile.
“Fine.” I muttered. My brothers’ heads popped up from their conversation with our grandfather.
“We’ll go too.” Henry said, his tone cheerful. It didn’t sound like he wanted to pummel Sirius as soon as we exited the house. “It’s dark outside.” The excuse was somewhat flimsy, our neighborhood was one of the safest in the area, but I could tell that my brothers wanted as little Sirius/Hope time as possible. I couldn’t blame them.
The four of us tumbled outside and onto the porch, where Peter was already waiting – with Remus. Both boys looked cold, their cheeks were red from the wind and they stood with hands forced in their pockets. Remus smiled admirably at me, gave a quick knowing nod to Sirius then turned his attention to my brothers.
“Remus Lupin.” He stuck out his hand, which was covered in dark green fingerless gloves. “Happy holidays.” Henry and Hardy grinned; it was obvious they liked Remus. I assumed that they probably had friends like Remus at their school – quiet, reasonable yet fun and smart boys who would always go along with their pranks. “Peter called me after he hung up with you,” He nodded at me. “Hello, by the way, Hope. Happy holidays. Causing trouble again, Sirius.”
Jesus, he was like a dad. Seriously. But a young, attractive and friendly one. I don’t know what I’m talking about again. I watched as Remus shook hands with my brothers.
“Henry.” Henry gave him a firm handshake. “Shit, it’s cold.”
“Hardy Khol.” Hardy stuck out his hand to shake Remus’. “Well if it isn’t little Peter Pettigrew!” He whistled then laughed. “You look the same.”
“Thanks Hardy.” Peter squeaked nervously. It was no secret my brothers scared Peter, though I could tell he admired them. “How’s school been?”
“Fine.” Hardy continued. “Managed to not get expelled for a semester.”
“Always a good thing.” Remus chuckled. I frowned. The last thing I needed right now was for my brothers to befriend Remus Lupin. That would probably wind up with them inviting all three boys back into the house.
“Don’t you need to be going?” I glared at Sirius, who was still smirking at me. His face made the kiss immediately flash through my mind. “Shit. I can’t believe…” Sirius’ eyebrows rose and I realized that I was talking aloud. Immediately I shut up. This did not go unnoticed by my brothers.
“You can’t believe what, Hoppy?” Hardy asked me. My cheeks flushed in the cold.
“That it’s… so… cold out here!” I laughed, awkwardly. “Sheesh!” I rubbed my hands against my arms feverishly. If I looked up I knew what I would see, five confused boys giving me peculiar looks. “I’m going inside.” I turned swiftly towards the front door. My hand was on the door knob when I heard:
I recognized the voice instantly as Sirius, and I was shocked. His voice sounded tender, intimate, private. What was he doing? My brothers were standing feet away; I was kicking him out of my house! What could he possibly want to say to me? I swirled around to face the boys, becoming slightly dizzy and immediately remembering all the sherry I had consumed earlier.
Sirius was smiling at me, a hopeful smile that begged me to forget all of the mean things he had done, begging me to break down the walls I’d spent the past week building up against him. In his formal clothes, with the snow falling lightly around him – he looked like one of the princes from the fairy tales Gran used to read me when I was little.
“Yes?” I found my voice after a moment. Remus, Peter, Hardy and Henry watched us silently – innocent bystanders, poised to act immediately.
“Have a happy Christmas.” He smiled at me. I nodded, then quickly went back inside.
soo this chapter and the last chapter, as you see, are still kind of fillers. but i hope you enjoyed it! please lemme know what you think, and review!
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